This week we began by discussing who wanted speaking roles versus working behind the scenes. We have A LOT of kids who want speaking roles. We confirmed that the group wants to use Stop Motion with pictures and Legos for the visuals of the play. We then returned to our discussion on the characters and personalities (something we worked on the week prior). The kids all have such great imagination but continue to give contradictory pieces of information but that is great for us to have many options and then we can just make the final decision. It was confirmed that they wanted Claudio to Claudia.

We have gotten to work on a script and will work to have a great potion done for our next meeting on Monday. The group of kids are great and so engaged. I think it helps that they are all at home and online rather than in a classroom together, less distractions!

I thought that this week was much easier than last week. Our group was only two kids this week, but they seemed to be more focused and excited for our project. Because we realized that our kids are hesitant about reading the lines out loud, we decided to read the lines of scene 1 to them and then asked them if they understood the point of the scene. This seemed to be a lot more productive – I think that before, they were so worried about the words they were saying that they weren’t fully paying attention to the scene as a whole. I think that in the future, we should keep showing them the scene that way so they have a better idea of what’s happening. We also started drawing out scenes which was super exciting! I think that they are getting much more into it now that they feel like they have a say in what we do, and can physically contribute to the final product. I can’t wait to see how the next few weeks go and how this project turns out!!

This week was significantly better then last week. Although only two students were in class yesterday, we had a discussion on scene one. The boys didn’t feel that comfortable reading out loud so the four of us read the lines to them and then asked them questions afterwards. Both of the boys are very interested in drawing so they immediately got into drawing pictures for scene 1!  Next week we plan on doing the same thing, reading and discussing scene 2 of our act and them drawing pictures to go along.

How the 6th-grade students set the “stage” for the Homecoming Dance as they did their own improv version of the scene.


On our third week working with the 6th-grade students, Group 4 was super happy with the way things went! Diego had the idea to make our script-writing process run more smoothly: an improv game! We had, on our own screens, the list of plot points from Act 4 and we asked them, scene by scene, to act out what a particular plot point might look like (i.e. Claudia accusing Hero at the Homecoming dance). We didn’t use the names of the characters in an effort to not be too confusing. We just did general plot points (in that case, someone accused another person of something really big at the Homecoming Dance). The title quote of this post was shared by a student named Joy and comes from the scene where Bea is telling Ben how mad she is about the accusations made against Hero.

This was such a fun exercise and I think the students really enjoyed it. I think it also helped that we had a teacher this time who was pretty good at helping them stay focused and also because one of us had the idea to split the group into partners, so we had two students doing the “acting” while the other (there was only one other at this time) was drawing. Our plan now is to put the quotes/lines altogether into a script and share it with them so that we can figure out what pictures we need/when we can record.

This was our best meeting so far. We had two students in attendance, Jayden and Joy, and they were both very attentive and excited to work. We went over the bulleted points of the plot and had them act out/improv each scenario while we recorded their dialogue. We went through about 5 or 6 scenes/plot points and they put a good amount of effort into every scenario. Next, we are going to write out the script by incorporating their dialogue and go over it with them to see if they are satisfied/want to make any changes. Then we will hopefully get them to start drawing.

Honestly, this week was a lot harder than last week. We only had three kids and struggled a lot to engage them. We also learned that 2/3 of our students are ESL, so they had a lot of trouble reading their lines (and when they tried, you could see their confidence began to falter which made some of them upset and storm off camera). We asked how they would want to represent our scenes, and we agreed on drawings. Instead of having them speak their lines and record them, I think we settled on having text bubbles where they could write in the lines. However, it was clear that the kids were not as engaged as they were the week before which was tough and a little frustrating for us.

Overall, I know that I mentioned feeling nervous because of the disconnect between people when you talk online, but I didn’t think about what would happen if the students weren’t listening. It’s really hard to get someone to take you seriously when you’re talking to them through a screen and don’t have the ability to stop what’s going on. I hope this week is a little easier to handle the students, and we can get somewhere productive with a little more structure in the time that we have with them. It was annoying at times, but reassuring to hear that we were doing a good job from our site director considering our circumstances. 🙂

Welcome to Leadership on Stage and Screen Lecture Podcast, Episode Fifteen.

Race in Shakespeare’s England

As we have seen in both Much Ado and The Winter’s Tale, racial difference does not play much of a role in Shakespeare’s plays—with the notable exceptions of Aaron in Titus Andronicus and Othello in Othello. It’s worth noting that although Caliban in modern productions of The Tempest is often played as a Black slave, that isn’t actually a part of Shakespeare’s original text…

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Week 2 with our students was a blast! One of the most important things that we decided on was how we were going to visualize our scene. After some discussion, it was decided that the students will draw different backgrounds for the scenes and then use action figures to depict the characters. Of our 4 students, each of them chooses a scene they would like to draw the setting for and a couple of them will be working together to accomplish this. We also gave them an opportunity to draw more than one background in the event that more than one student wanted to draw. There did seem to be some contention around Borachio’s name as it caused unbridled laughter every time it was uttered, so we might have to talk about that. Our group is planning to meet again before next Thursday to come up with a list of decisions we want our students to make for the next meeting.

Week two meeting with the kids went really well! There were a few more kids present for this meeting so we had even more participation and enthusiasm from them. Essentially, we went through the plot of Act 1 and asked the kids about what major plot point they would want to adjust or alter. The kids were actually really enthusiastic about changing Claudio’s gender and renaming her Claudia, which I thought was a really cool idea and also really impressive that these kids wanted to do that. Also, one student was excited about potentially doing some drawings for Act 1. Overall, the meeting went really well and I am excited to keep working with this group!

Unfortunately, I was unable to attend this week’s meeting with the kids, but we made a lot of decisions during our workday.

Act IV decided it would be best to film little by little, so nobody is overwhelmed. Since our kids seemed very excited by the idea of using some type of action figures instead of drawings, we planned to ask if they had these materials or needed Jepson to purchase them. We also began to search through the library guides for music samples. Not only was this another idea from the kids, but also makes sense considering we have a promposal and final dance scene. The only other detail we were planning on addressing was potentially making Claudio a Claudia.


Apparently, I missed some interesting decisions! My other group members let me know the community partner we’re working with rearranged the groups and that we had some new kids. They repeated much of the information from the first week and then the kids assigned figurines to the characters. So now in our adaptation, we have Hero as Moana, Claudio as the Hulk, Pedro as Iron Man, Leo as Batman, Ben as Spiderman, and Beatrice as a character from Trolls. Honestly, why not?